The Parish Council is the first tier of local government. It responds to the needs of the community by delivering the services or representation it needs and has a large range of powers.
Great Yeldham Parish Council is made up of 9 Councillors (there is currently 1 vacancy). Parish Councillors do not get paid for performing this important role. Councillors are elected every four years. The next election is due in May 2023. If there are no more candidates than the number of Councillors, election is automatic. If a vacancy occurs during the four-year term, permission is sought from the District Council to co-opt a replacement unless ten Parishioners demand an election.
A Chairman and Vice Chairman are elected annually from amongst the Councillors. This takes place at each May meeting of the Council.
Parish Councils are statutory bodies. Members are elected for a term of four years and councils are funded principally by an annual precept. The precept is collected through Council Tax by Braintree District Council and paid to the Parish Council in two six-monthly installments. Parish Councils can apply for other funding, such as grants, but they do not receive funds direct from central government as principal authorities do.
In Great Yeldham, the Parish Council is responsible for the following:
- The village green, grounds maintenance including village verges, Whitlocks, Church Yard at St Andrews PCC, the Parish Council burial grounds
- 4 footpaths are maintained on a monthly basis between April and October (all other footpaths are managed by Essex Highways https://www.essexhighways.org/roads-and-pavements/public-right-of-way-maintain
- the footpath between High Street and terminating at the entrance to the Recreation ground running to the side of the old police station;
- the footpath between Leather Lane and Butlers Way;
- the footpath between Church Road running to side of St Andrews Primary School to Tilbury Rd;
- the footpath rear of Little Hyde Road (leading from Leather Lane – opposite Butlers Way junction) through to green on Little Hyde Close( not managed by
- Street furniture e.g. bins, seats, notice board, bus shelter, telephone kiosk (situated outside the Reading Room), the play equipment on Bowtells Meadow, the zip wire and the Skate Park (Sports & Recreation Ground). The Parish Council is also responsible for the Access Road to the Sports and Recreation Ground off Toppesfield Road
- Management of The Lawn Cemetery, Garden of Remembrance, the Glades Natural Burial Ground and the Bluebell Glade (scattering of ashes)
- Organising an events programme for the village including community fetes, Christmas Tree and Carol Service and other activities such as Tidy Up day, Easter Egg Hunt and IT Support classes
- Liaison with St Andrews PCC, St Andrews CE Primary School and businesses in the village
- Partnership Working with the Sports Ground Management Committee (Sports & Recreation Ground), Reading Room Management Committee (Village Hall) and Great Yeldham Youth Club
- Developing a Neighbourhood Plan and monitoring the Parish Plan
- Maintenance of this website and Facebook page
- Management and production of the 4 Villages Magazine
- Management of Winter Salt Scheme including maintenance and replenishment of salt bins, co-ordination of Winter Salt Group, volunteers who help distribute salt on key footpaths around the village
- Community Speed Watch
- Stay Safe in Great Yeldham
- Welcome pack for new residents
- Emergency plan
- Projects, e.g. dog fouling, refurbishment of the sports and recreation ground, Parish/Neighbourhood Plan
In addition, it liaises with District/County Council and Greenfields Community Housing on the services they provide, e.g.
- Planning applications
- Highways and footway maintenance
- Public rights of way
- Street Cleansing
- Estate Management
- Winter Salt
The following outside bodies are represented by Councillors’ and or the Parish Clerk:
- Essex Association of Local Councils
- Essex Police Community Meetings for residents of Great Yeldham
- Great Yeldham Reading Room Management Committee
- Great Yedham Sports Ground Management Committee
- Great Yeldham Youth Club
- Great Yeldham Education Foundation
- Great Yeldham United Charities
- Network 5 Meetings (meeting with neighbouring parishes from Toppesfield, Ridgwell, Birdbrook and Stambourne
The Chairman and Councillors also attend other functions on behalf of the residents of Great Yeldham parish when invited.